Confessions of a (Sometimes) Workaholic and Perfectionistic Mom

If you caught my interview on The Parenting Summit, or you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know I am a recovering perfectionist. I love helping other parents reduce their perfectionism because this has been such a healing and joyful journey for me. I get to share with you the many techniques that I’ve learned and at the same time, I continue to unravel my own perfectionism.

Over the years I have mellowed a lot. Perfectionists tend to be hard to be around because of their demanding standards and criticisms, whether overtly stated or not. Every reduction in my perfectionistic traits has resulted in me being that much happier and more productive. I am gentler on myself and others, and life is that much better. However, I know I still have some perfectionistic traits that hold me back. One is my willingness to work too much.

I have made great strides in my workaholism, and recently I found myself back in the trenches. I used to have major problems with taking on too big projects and burning myself out. Can you relate? Are you the one who hears a great idea in a group you are involved in, whether for work or for pleasure, and then you find yourself agreeing to take on the brunt of the job? Perfectionists can confuse the fact that it can be done with whether or not they should be the one doing it, or at least without help.

The Parenting Summit just ended in March. I’m already planning the next one, and looking forward to saving time because so much of it is already set up. Like many new events or products, the amount of details was amazing. I handled the situation by working crazy hours in order to produce a professional product.

I knew that my family was affected, but not exactly how much until my son had a rare melt-down the other day. He is a resilient, easy going guy most of the time. He’s in Grade 7, does well at school and has friends and activities he likes. So I was quite surprised to have him so upset when I asked him to do something.

Fortunately he was quite able to express why he was so upset. He said that he missed his happy, fun mom. Instead he was perceiving that I had become a drill sergeant, and he was rebelling. I was both horrified and touched, because I hadn’t realized how much my work was affecting him. I was glad that my almost 13-year old boy cared that his mother wasn’t very available.

Upon reflection, I don’t think I was being that much more of a drill sergeant than normal:) What was missing though were the times to connect with him in fun, which make our other interactions more pleasant. No one likes a boss who gives orders but never takes time to say hello and see how we are doing. His reaction was perfectly normal, and was a nice reminder of how important I really am to him.

I am working on plans for the next Parenting Summit. I am committed to getting help so that I can maintain more of a normal life during the summit. Sam my son commented about me helping other parents while neglecting my own. That certainly hit home, and I’m not going there again.

Do you have challenges with battling work and home balance? I work from home, which has its unique challenges because I can always slip into my office to do something. What about you? I’d love to hear how you manage your work needs, family needs and your own personal needs, including your relationship with your friends, husband and other family members. No one said parenting in the new millenium was easy!

Leave a Comment